Breed of the Month - November 2014 - Poodle
Congratulations to Elaine and Allen Noel !!

The AKC only recognizes the Poodle breed, but in three sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Classified in the Non-Sporting Group and Classified in the Toy Group.

•Non-Sporting (Standard and Miniature) and Toy (Toy) Groups; AKC recognized in 1887.
•Standard: over 15 inches tall at the shoulder; Miniature: over 10 but under 15 inches; Toy: 10 inches or under.

Poodles can be a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray, but never parti-colored. The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots while the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable.

The breed originated in Germany as a water retriever. The stylish "Poodle clip" was designed by hunters to help the dogs move through the water more efficiently. The patches of hair left on the body are meant to protect vital organs and joints which are susceptible to cold. The Standard variety is the oldest of the three varieties. The Miniature variety may have been used for truffle hunting. The Toy Poodle was often used in performances and circuses. The Poodle is supposed to have originated in Germany, where it is known as the Pudel or Canis Familiaris Aquatius. However, for years it has been regarded as the national dog of France, where is was commonly used as a retriever as well as, the Caniche, which is derived from chien canard or duck dog. Doubtless the English word "poodle" comes from the German pudel or pudelin, meaning to splash in the water.

Authorities concede that the large, or Standard, Poodle is the oldest of the three varieties, and that the dog gained special fame as a water worker. So widely was it used as retriever that it was shorn of portions of its coat to further facilitate progress in swimming. Thence came the custom of clipping to pattern which so enhanced the style and general appearance that its sponsors, particularly in France, were captivated by it. All of the Poodle's ancestors were acknowledged to be good swimmers, although one member of the family, the truffle dog (it may have been of Toy or Miniature size), it is said, never went near the water.

Despite the Standard Poodle's claim to greater age than the other varieties, there is some evidence to show that the smaller types developed only a short time after the breed assumed the general type by which it is recognized today. The smallest, or Toy variety, was known in England in the 18th Century, when the White Cuban became popular there. This was a sleeve dog attributed to the West Indies from whence it traveled to Spain and then to England. But the Continent had known the Poodle long before it came to England. Drawings by the German artist, Albrecht Durer, establish the breed in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was the principal pet dog of the latter 18th century in Spain, as shown by the paintings of the Spanish artist, Goya. And France had Toy Poodles as pampered favorites during the reign of Louis XVI at about the same period.

The appeal of a particular breed of dog is often based on your own personality or the breed’s aesthetic attraction to you: that “certain something” that endears that breed to you forever. For some it is the spunk of a Scottie, or the gentleness of a Lab that captures our hearts and determines our lifetime commitment to that breed.

For me, it was not a function of emotion or aesthetic attraction that lead me devote a lifetime to the Poodle breed. It was the desperate “need” of a seven year-old for a DOG of any kind.

I come from a family of dog lovers. English Setters and German Shephards were the breeds of choice for both my Grandparents and my Father. Then I came along, and with a host of allergies that included a severe reaction to my Father’s “Sheba”, it looked like we would be the only family on the block that did not have a dog. But, as those of you who have had seven year old girls in the family, you cannot discount the persistence and determination they have once they set their mind on a goal. Mine was getting a dog. I didn’t care what it looked like; I WANTED A DOG! Never mind my allergies, I wanted one now! My persistence must have driven my mild mannered Father crazy. Lucky for both of us his co-worker invited us to his home to meet his Standard Poodle, as this breed has a reputation for being “hypoallergenic”.

It was love at first sight for me….not so much for my folks, who saw a “fussy” dog: one that would require grooming and that had a reputation for being “not so smart”. (Actually, that myth is quite the opposite of the reality!) But the appeal was there as well. Lively, a true family dog, quiet and gentle, this breed was a perfect fit for a young, busy family. And for me, it was A DOG!

Photo is our Peckerwood Lake's Masterpiece

That co-worker of my Dad’s became my first mentor for this breed, encouraging my enthusiasm and building on that, resulting in an avocation that has lead me down many fulfilling paths in my life. And I believe that having at least one Mentor, and developing that relationship and support can make a huge difference in your enjoyment and understanding of the Poodle breed.

There are many people that are turned off by the “typical” Poodle cut. But, thanks to my knowledgeable Mentor I soon learned that it has its basis in the history of this noble breed and each Poodle should wear it proudly. Originating in Germany, Poodles were used as water retrievers, having webbed feet that enabled them to “powerhouse” through marshes and lakes. The characteristic cut was developed to both streamline their movements in water and at the same time protect their vital organs and joints susceptible to cold. Given that heritage, the “fru-fru” cut that many people chide the breed for, makes perfect – and elegant – sense.

But there is no contract you have to sign swearing that you will adhere to that grooming style! As a matter of fact, many owners prefer the “puppy cut” style, and monthly grooming can be as intense or as simple as you like. Either way, your Poodle companion will love the attention! And “companion” is a key word here.

Over my time with Poodles, I have had many Mentors, real dog lovers who shared all their knowledge and wisdom about this breed, and one of the first lessons I learned as a young girl was that they are true companions. They draw people into our lives with their playfulness disguised within an “air of distinction”, an uncanny response and sensitivity to their owners’ moods, and quiet intelligence (they may be smarter than you, but would never presume to let you know, so don’t “talk down” to them). Poodles do not see themselves as “dogs”, rather, they see themselves as an entirely different species, closer to human than “those other four-leggers”. This assured self-image compels them to be true companions, and feel, not owned by their family, but absolutely a vital member of it. Photo is our Ch. Clarion Barking Tresor De Noel on the left and on the right is our Ch. RamLar White Linen

Mentors have also pointed out Poodles’ negatives to me. Chief among them is that they want to go everywhere you go. Everywhere. They do not want to be excluded from any event in your life. This makes them good pals around a campfire or at your kids’ soccer games, but not so great when it comes time to go to work. That’s why they are super terrific travel companions, but may need a routine stay in a spacious crate while you go off to earn dog food money.

In public, Poodles are friendly, approachable but reserved, and definitely crowd-pleasers. Adults and children both seem more relaxed and open when encountering a Poodle on a lead. The combination of a Poodle’s inquisitiveness, and a human’s fearlessness in a typical exchange has given me much joy watching this interaction blossom into a real bonding moment. It is always a charmed encounter.

I owe a debt of gratitude to all the Mentors that supported me through this journey through Poodle ownership. From sharing prized books, proper groom techniques, training and showing, even guiding me through the intricacies of breeding and whelping, these teachers were more than generous with their knowledge and patience. Of course, most new Poodle owners will not require ALL that information, but proper grooming is something that every Breeder will see as an important component of ownership.

There have been many Poodles in my life, both Miniature and Standard. Each one has left behind a profound lesson. And as a Breeder, every family in which I have placed one of these charming, versatile beings (remember, they are not “dogs”!), has enriched my life as they walked together through my door onto their new adventure.

I take this responsibility seriously, and again recalling lessons learned from my own Mentors, there have been times I have regretfully not been able to make a match and have asked these future companions to be patient and wait for that perfect fit.

Because, now as a Mentor myself, I profoundly know the importance of having a good mentor to help raise that special puppy. They may be smart, they may be versatile and devoted, but this curly haired, inventive canine needs humans that both understand the breed as well as the need for a Mentor.

It was truly a life changing moment when I walked into the home of my Father’s co-worker and saw this beautiful, gentle, and noble animal.

I am not only grateful to that gentleman, the many Mentors that have guided me through this avocation, to the wonderful Poodles themselves, as well as their wonderful adoptive families.

But more importantly, I am grateful to that little seven year old who complained bitterly to her Father, “But I want a DOG, Dad!”


Puppies . . Puppies . . Puppies

 De Noel Back in Black at 6 weeks old (Mini)

Peckerwood Magnolia De Noel at 5 months old (Standard)

This is how we do it . . .

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